Why Proprietary Processes Matter to CEOs
by Hesam Lamei
A proprietary process can be defined as a business process unique to a company. In the competitive landscape for professional and technology services, it is critical for businesses to define their process differentiators to standout from competitors, enhance branding, and improve consistency of process. Furthermore, defining a process unique to your company allows customers to focus on value rather than price when making purchase decisions. Read on to learn about the CEO’s role in proprietary processes and tangible examples from my personal business experience.
The Role of the CEO
CEOs play a crucial role in the proprietary process of companies. The need to adapt incrementally or implement transformative change is not something companies can escape in today’s markets. To remain adaptive, CEOs must spend time brainstorming process improvements, obtaining insight from direct reports, and testing new processes. CEOs propel change with open communication, consistency of process, and culture through methods such as training, recognition of adherence to process, and mentorship. CEOs also set the tone for process changes by serving as role models. Changes must be implemented by the CEO first as financial and symbolic value are at stake.
Real World Examples
My company recently updated our company messages and branding which included defining our core values. Proprietary process is our second of five core values. As a value-added reseller (VAR), it is vital to differentiate ourselves from original equipment manufacturers (OEMs), other VARs, and eCommerce resellers, and we recognized early on the way to do that is through our unique processes. The challenges, needs, likes, and dislikes of our customers of IT buyers are the epicenter of our operations. Our proprietary processes are of such value that we continually revisit them to determine areas for improvement.
Many of our operational processes are proprietary and can be witnessed through our inventory model, deployments, and customer interaction. Our procurement and inventory management processes allow us to offer a just-in-time (JIT) inventory model for our customers, offering components and fully populated systems to be built and shipped same-day as needed. Additionally, we are able to deploy hundreds of desktop systems with operating systems from scratch and update firmware or bios on hundreds of servers at a time through our system build processes. Our efficient processes allow us to provide an IT buyer a single-call purchase experience, while purchasing from an OEM requires a trip to their website, selection of a model, and then multiple steps to finalize the purchase. Another proprietary element of our deployments is our component compatibility testing. It involves verifying all configuration options when custom building systems which, in some cases, allows us to offer specifications beyond what OEMs support. On the customer interaction side of the business, our technical support processes allow us to assist customers over the phone immediately, troubleshoot issues, and ship replacement parts the same day.
A proprietary process is unique and helps further differentiate a company from its competitors. Subsequently, pinpointing a proprietary process adds depth to branding and refines consistency of process because it is clearly defined. CEOs cannot afford to ignore the value of having a proprietary process and should lead the effort to implement and continually improve upon as market landscapes grow and evolve.